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What morning or evening routine works best?
Whenever I browse through the web and see what morning routines others show, then I feel a bit cringy about writing about my own morning routine. In my case, there is no fancy, energetic meditation practice at 3 a.m. or a long workout with perfect make-up or something like that. It’s a bit contrary to the beautiful pictures or YouTube videos everyone can find, but it works well for me.
I just like to have a routine in the morning to start the day on my terms. The inspiration to customizing my routines came from Amy Landino’s great book Good Morning, Good Life.
This means I want to do everything in a relaxed mood and avoid stress. To accomplish this, I usually get up a bit earlier (even if it is hard…). Because it helps me stay focused and relaxed to have enough time. Otherwise I tend to get frantic and stressed.
On a regular day, I get up at 5 am. When the alarm rings I get up, no excuses, even if it’s that hard. No snooze button. Never. First, I want to get hydrated so, I get up and have a cup of water or any sugar free drink. Then I start my beauty routine with some activating music. Music is very important for me because it influences my mood positively.
This time gives me an opportunity to think about the day and to get in touch with myself. It’s kinda meditation for me. Doing my make-up is part of this me-time.
For breakfast I usually have coffee and green smoothies. I don’t eat that early and the greens energize me. If the weather is fine, I enjoy breakfast with my husband on our balcony. If the weather isn’t fine, we do either because it is so relaxing and energetic to enjoy breakfast in fresh air.
I love journalling in the morning. It’s a mix of morning pages to get rid of all the brain dump and planning my day mindfully. Mindful planning means to me that I respect my feelings, e.g. if I feel tired or not so energetic due to hard workdays before. I reduce my tasks for such days and focus on planning or easy tasks. With this routine I can get some things done but don’t feel overwhelmed or frustrated because I feel I finished too little. A cool tool for journalling and planning is the Good Morning, Good Life Planner, which I highly recommend.
4 benefits of a morning routine
1. Regularity saves energy:
With any routine you can save energy because you don’t have to decide each morning what and how to do. We have to decide a lot during the day and this costs a lot of energy. You can save energy with establishing routines.
2. Productivity increases:
If start your day with more energy, you are likely to be more productive. Interestingly, I thought that I have to be fast in the mornings to rush to work and that I always run out of time. You can imagine my hectic mood in the morning! One time I discovered that I can do as much as always or more if I do it calm and mindful. Throughout the day your productivity increases if you do your tasks mindfully rather than stressfully. Important notice: keep away from that snooze button – it boycotts your productivity!
3. Feels good:
This one is simple. A morning routine which covers your needs just feels good and brings you in the perfect mood to enjoy your day. My experience shows that if I feel good in the morning I can expand this feeling over the whole day. At least most of the days – I admit, morning routines are no magic bullets but they can benefit your wellbeing.
The last but not least benefit of morning routines is that they provide feeling of stability and security. If you do something regularly it helps you to keep control and feel secure. Especially, in those times of pandemic a morning routine can help to overcome weird feelings if you are in quarantine. I stuck to my morning routine every day of quarantine and it helped me a lot to stay focused and productive.
Before going to bed, I like to sit down and watch one or two episodes of Netflix. Maybe one can call this evening routine but I’m not very consistent in establishing a true evening routine. I go to bed at a certain time to get enough sleep. I love to check my phone, although a lot of people recommend to not do it. As I love to start the mornings on my terms, I also love to end the day on my terms. So, checking my phone feels ok by now. I can adjust my routines whenever I want. Before I go to bed, I like to create my evenings a bit flexible and relaxing. Sometimes I take bubble baths and read a book. The only must-have is removing my make-up, which is not negotiable.
Tell me in the comments which routines do you have and what works best for?
Photo credits to Style Stock Society
This post is shared with my friend Ramya Mishra